Learning, Loving, Worshiping, Praying, Serving and Inviting

Acknowledging Uniqueness in Others

In the last Springboard  I talked about the difference it could make to our relationships if we were able to express a value of each other’s uniqueness by listening, enquiring about, and responding to what is true and meaningful for them.  What we sometimes find ourselves doing is countering what others say by calling into question their point of view or their responses to particular situations.  This effectively dismisses how people are feeling and what’s important to them.  Having at hand a couple of simple linguistic tools with which to respond can help change that.  Try some of these phrases (or encourage a partner to use them) and observe what differences they make to your conversational experience:


“It sounds like what’s important to you is…..”

“I think I can see that what matters to you most is..…”

“What I think I’m hearing you say is….?”

“Help me understand what’s important to you about this?”

“I think I see your point.  What you’re saying is…..  Does that sound right?”

“I haven’t seen it this way before”

“It makes sense to me that you’d feel like this”

“I imagine you were left thinking…..”

“What’s it like for you when this happens?”

“What does this mean for you?”

“I see I had a part to play in making this difficult for you”


Sometimes it’s hard to validate our own (unique) thoughts and feelings.  Having someone around who can respond to us in these ways increases our sense of validity, therefore adding to levels of intimacy and trust in our relationships.

Philipians 2:3-4  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

Author: David Smith
Date Published: June 2019

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email: office@stpeters.org.nz

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Office: 07 578 9608
email: simon@stpeters.org.nz



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